Reporting Grant Paulsen
The Redskins entered the final day of the draft holding 10 selections over four founds. With several needs and lots of ammunition, Saturday could be a busy day in Washington’s war room.
Here are the results for the Redskins’ day-three selections:
4th round, 105th overall — Roy Helu, RB, Nebraska
*Helu is a 6-0, 220-pound tailback who runs a 4.2 40-yard dash. A 3,400-yard back in college, Helu is an ideal fit in Washington because he has experience running in a one-cut, zone-blocking scheme. He’ll need to improve in pass protection, which is typically the case with a mid-round running back.
The Redskins moved up 22 spots to take Helu, trading a four rounder and two fifth rounders for an earlier fourth round selection and the Houston Texans’ 6th rounder.
5th round, 146th overall — DeJon Gomes, DB, Nebraska
*Gomes lined up primarily at strong safety for the Cornhuskers as a senior, compiling 99 tackles and registering three sacks. He has also spent considerable time covering receivers in the slot, which might be where the Redskins saw value in adding him in the fifth round.
Expect to see Gomes compete for time on special teams as a rookie and with Carlos Rogers potentially departing via free agency, Washington might need to find a couple of defensive backs who can cover between the hash marks.
5th round, 155th overall — Niles Paul, WR, Nebraska
*Paul started 29 games at wide receiver for the Huskers, where he also spent time returning punts and kicks. His 4.122 all-purpose yards rank fifth in school history and his 1,697 all-purpose yards as a junior rank eighth on the Nebraska season-record list.
If Santana Moss comes back Washington’s receiving corps could involve Moss, Hankerson, Armstrong, Kelly, Paul and Austin. That group is vastly improved when compared to the crop Mike Shanahan inherited upon coming to DC. The case could be made that pass-catcher wasn’t as big a need as some other spots with this pick, but perhaps Paul was a sleeper on the Redskins’ big board.
Paul took some pre-draft heat for having been arrested on suspicion of a DUI during his college days.
6th round, 177th overall — Evan Royster, RB, PSU
*Royster becomes the second running back the Redskins have taken on day-three of the draft. Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams were the incumbents and they’ll now be joined by Helu and Royster in a competition for playing time come training camp. Royster was a three-time all Big-10 nomination.
A successful Penn State rusher, Royster went to Westfield High School in northern Virginia, where his family still lives. His mom still teaches at Westfield.
6th round 178th overall — Aldrick Robinson, WR, SMU
*Racked up 1,301 yards through the air last season — a school record. He finished second in receiving yards and fourth in receptions in SMU’s school history. He ranks 5th all-time in conference history in receiving yards.
Stands 5-10 and weighs 178 pounds. Undersized but has good speed and has served as a return man. The Redskins have now taken three receivers with their last five picks.
7th round, 213th overall — Brandyn Thompson, CB, Boise State
*A 5-9, 189 pound cornerback, Thompson was a four-year starter for the Broncos. He finished the 2010 season as a second-team all-WAC nominee. His 13 career interceptions are evidence of his ability to make plays on the ball, which Thompson told reporters was his greatest strength during a conference call.
With Carlos Rogers not under contract for this coming season, Washington’s in need of adding to its depth in the secondary. Thompson isn’t likely to be a major contributor this coming season, but a role on special teams could be a realistic expectation for the third player taken from Boise State in this year’s draft.
7th round, 217th overall — Maurice Hurt, OG, Florida
*Sporting News called Hurt the draft’s “fourth best run-blocking guard.” He’s probably more talented than most of the players being drafted in the 7th round at his position, but his draft stock was hurt by an alleged positive test for marijuana at the NFL Combine (according to Pro Football Weekly).
Hurt started games at both guard spots and played a limited role at tackle for the Gators. Like Erik Cook and Selvish Capers a season ago, Hurt will get a chance to prove he’s worthy of an interior offensive line roster spot in Washington’s preseason.
7th round, 224th overall — Markus White, OLB, Florida State
*A defensive end in college who posted 8.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles-for-loss, White is going to be utilized as an outside linebacker if he makes the Redskins. The 6-4, 262 pound defender was a two-year starter with the Seminoles. He was fifth on Florida State in tackles.
White was the second outside linebacker drafted by the Redskins (Ryan Kerrigan was taken with the team’s first pick at No. 16 overall). He will have a chance to compete with Chris Wilson and Rob Jackson for reserve spots in the Redskins outside linebacking corps.
7th round, 253rd overall — Chris Neild, NT, West Virginia
*Three-year NT and the anchor of a WVU defense that issued just 86 rushing yards per game. Started 38 of final 39 games with Mountaineers, took on double teams and attracted blocks while making 11 stops for losses and compiling six sacks. With Neild leading the way, West Virginia ranked No. 2 in the nation in rush defense.
The second-to-last pick in the draft and the last player the Redskins drafted, Neild is really going to have to impress the coaching staff to earn a job on the Redskins’ roster. But as the only nose tackle Washington drafted, he could have the chance to latch on at a thin position.